When Maryline White went to donate her 2008 Almanac of American Politics to the Ashland Public Library, she was shocked when she learned they couldn't accept it.

"I hadn't even thought about them not accepting this expensive book," she said. "It's an amazing reference book."

Since Library Systems and Services, LLC, known as LSSI, took over operations of the Jackson County Library, staff members must be choosier about the books they accept for the library collection, said Ashland Branch Manager Amy Blossom.

Books that were once cataloged by library staff in Medford are now sent out of state for bar coding at a cost of $10 per book if the library doesn't already own a copy of that book.

"We can accept donations, and we can process them, but knowing that it's going to take money away from the purchasing of new materials, we are pickier," Blossom said. "It's because we don't have the staff. It all goes back to the fact that we don't have the same amount of money to run the system. In Ashland, we voted for it, but the rest of the county didn't."

Of the books donors gave between Aug. 2006 and the library's closing last April, more than 5,000 were added to the countywide library catalog, said Jaelynn Bresette, a technical services associate. No statistics were available since the library's reopening in October, but they system has seen a surge in donations, she said.

Mark Smith, transition team leader for LSSI, estimated the library keeps less than 25 percent of all donations for its own collection. The rest are sold at Friends of the Library book sales, and the proceeds used to buy new books from the same company that catalogs the donated books.

No matter what the ultimate fate of a donated book, Smith said LSSI welcomes all donations.

"We're happy to have people consider the library and we receive them gratefully," he said. "Sometimes people want a commitment that we're going to retain every item they donate to us, and we just can't do that."

Judi Honor&

233;, the top individual fundraiser for the library who also owns a used book store, said she understands the need to pare down donations.

"They probably don't want books in the library that nobody is going to check out," she said. "They only have so much space on their shelf. It makes sense to me."

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